A Brief History of Dog Clothes February 8, 2016 – Posted in: Blog
A Brief History of Dog Clothes
An easy mistake to make is thinking that clothes and accessories for dogs is a new trend, but it’s actually far from the case! A quick jaunt through history tells us that clothes for canines has been around for at least half of the time that dogs have been domesticated.
In the sixth century in Britain and northern Europe, dogs that served in the military were given protective clothing to protect them from the elements and attacks while they did their duty.
Collars have been around since 3100BCE at least, and it’s likely that collars are the earliest type of dog adornment – functional and beautiful. Many collars were used not just as identification, but for decoration, with many archaeological digs turning up ornate and valuable examples made of copper, gold and precious stones. The ancient Egyptians turned their dogs’ collars into works of art, as did the pre-dynastic Chinese.
In more recent times, European royalty dressed their favourite dogs – hunting hounds and lapdogs alike – in elaborate clothes, collars and halters. Louis XI of France (1423-1483) gave his favourite greyhound an amazing red velvet collar encrusted with 11 rubies and 20 pearls, despite being notoriously tight with his money!
Dog lovers in the 17th century could choose from brass, silver or gold collars for their pets, as well as bejewelled leather ones. In the 19th century Queen Victoria loved to dress her spaniel in brightly-coloured jackets and trouser sets! As ever, Paris was a hub for canine couture, with several shops catering for pampered pooches springing up in the early 1800s.
Nowadays, dog wear designers like London-based Jolie Dog concentrate on comfort and functionality rather than frills and ruffs and jewels. The emphasis is on clothes that look good and also actually earn their place on a well-loved family member.